How Grow & Gather’s operations are flourishing thanks to Square for Retail

From her professional beginnings in the field of landscape architecture to a career in marketing, Grow & Gather co-owner Renata Triveri found herself on an expected path to business ownership. Based in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Triveri and her partner, Bill Hardy, have spent over a decade growing their farmstead business to include everything from floral and aquatic plants to garden tools and Japanese koi. Their business, which recently underwent a rebrand, continues to expand, with a new website and an increased availability of products online. Here, we speak to Triveri about the garden centre’s serene atmosphere, her windy path to entrepreneurship, the advantage that specialty stores have over big box stores and how Square is helping to streamline her business and grow Grow & Gather’s offerings.

On the path to entrepreneurship

My professional journey has been quite diverse. I initially pursued landscape architecture in my education, later studying English, small business, and marketing. The pieces fell into place when I serendipitously entered a garden centre, finding an opportunity as their marketing coordinator due to the recent departure of their manager. It was a case of being in the right place at the right time.

After the sale of that garden centre, I ventured into roles within various nurseries and landscape businesses. Eventually, I established my consulting business, specializing in marketing and communications within the horticulture industry. Collaborating extensively with organizations like the BC Landscape and Nursery Association and the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association broadened my understanding of diverse approaches in garden retail.

My partner, Bill, is an ardent volunteer, and he dedicates numerous hours to the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association and the International Association of Horticultural Producers. His global involvement in initiatives related to green cities and advocacy work through trade organizations really reflects his commitment to the field.
Combining our varied personal backgrounds and experiences has been instrumental in shaping Grow & Gather into what it is today.

On the atmosphere of Grow & Gather

When you walk into most garden centres, with all the greenery and plant material and things in bloom, there’s kind of a sense that you’re entering a place that’s a little bit more relaxing than where you go for your other errands. It’s a different speed compared to a grocery store or a hardware store, which are places you go to complete a task. A garden centre is a place that encourages meandering and inspiration, a place to take in the sights and sounds of nature.

At Grow & Gather, our unique water features really contribute to the sense of tranquility that people feel in our environment. We’ve got a beautiful 17,000 gallon koi pond with a fountain, which makes for a serene sonic experience. Our area also boasts a certified wildlife habitat accredited by the Canadian Wildlife Federation, and this habitat attracts various animals, offering opportunities to observe squirrels and birds nestled in the trees.

Get Started with Square for Retail

Sell intelligently with our new retail point of sale.

On Grow and Gather’s advantage over big-box stores

As a specialty store, we get that our pricing might not match up to the offerings of box stores. Where we excel and add value is in our commitment to knowledge and expertise, which we take a lot of pride in. Our focus lies in dedicating time to educate our customers, listening to them and learning about their specific challenges, and helping them figure out how to be successful in their own gardens.This personalized interaction is the unique touch that sets us apart, providing a level of assistance and guidance that isn’t easily found elsewhere.

On how Square for Retail has helped streamline the garden centre’s operations

When we acquired the company, it was reliant on manual cash registers. While we quickly implemented a point-of-sale system, it didn’t seamlessly cater to our plant sales. We needed something that would cater to plants, but would also help me with online sales, and I wanted integrations that would allow me to link up Instagram to my website. We did some research and realized that Square was the perfect fit, with everything in one place and offering comprehensive capabilities to meet our diverse needs.

The convenience offered by Square’s dashboard and app is truly invaluable to us. The ability to generate invoices instantly from my phone, check stock levels remotely while on the move and promptly handle customer inquiries from anywhere (without being physically present near the cash register) has revolutionized how we operate. This enhanced efficiency allows me to provide swifter service, make more informed purchasing decisions and effectively manage our shop. Square’s invoicing features have been transformative with the ability to quickly generate invoices accessible to our team in the shop, even when I’ve created them remotely, streamlining our workflow.

Plus, with Square we can now conduct sales at off-site events and remotely check stock levels, without the hassle of re-entering data into the system. The mobile app allows me to access dashboard information from various locations – in the office, at home or even while exercising on the treadmill. The organization Square offers is crucial for us. We offer a diverse range of products and Square simplifies categorization, allowing us to group items under single categories at the point of sale. It enables versatile sales methods based on weight, length, or units, with the flexibility to make instant adjustments when necessary.

G&G 2

Transitioning Grow & Gather to Square Online has unlocked fresh sales prospects for us. I’m looking at the sales reports at the end of the day going, “I don’t remember selling those gift cards!” But customers are buying them online, so they’re fabulous little surprise electronic gift card sales. I love that! We’ve also initiated online sales for farm feeds, aiming to streamline storage and ensure a clean, pest-free environment, which is important for us and for our customers. Instead of stocking 50-pound sack feeds on the shop floor, customers can conveniently order them online. Upon purchase, we retrieve the feeds from storage when they’re ready for pickup at the store. Expanding into providing farm feeds helps us cater to our local farming community, which has been an exciting venture.

On the future of Grow and Gather

Continuously seeking complementary products and offerings that align with our core focus is a priority. Given our significant on-site cultivation, our expansion primarily revolves around bolstering our growing capabilities, particularly in cultivating more perennials and related products. Operating on a small property within the constraints of the agricultural land reserve, we face limitations on our activities. Balancing our on-site production with sales remains crucial, and we’ve successfully achieved this balance.

Maximizing the use of our farmland while ensuring efficient sales is an ongoing consideration for us, and Square really helps us keep our business organized as we grow Grow & Gather!